Massage is a "hands on" treatment in which a therapist manipulates muscles and other soft tissues of the body to improve health and well being. The use of massage for healing purposes dates back 4,000 years. In the early 20th century, the rise of technology and prescription drugs began to overshadow massage therapy.
For the next several decades, massage remained dormant, with only a few therapists continuing to practice the "ancient" technique. During the 1970s, however, both the general public and the medical profession began to take notice of alternative medicine and mind-body therapies, including massage therapy.
Today, more than 125,000 massage therapists practice in the United States. Their numbers are growing rapidly to keep up with the more than 80 million massage therapy appointments people make every year.